after Joseph Mallord William Turner

William Tell’s Chapel


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Line engraving on paper
Image: 260 × 142 mm
Purchased 1986

Catalogue entry

[from] Rogers'sItaly’ pub.1830 [T04631-T04670; complete]

Forty line-engravings, by various engravers and in various states, comprising all twenty-five subjects; various papers and sizes
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Adele Holcomb, ‘A Neglected Classical Phase of Turner's Art: His Vignettes to Rogers's “Italy”’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol.32, 1969; Mordechai Omer, Turner and the Poets, exh. cat., Marble Hill House 1975; Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner's Vignettes and the Making of Rogers's “Italy”’, Turner Studies, vol.3, no.1, 1983;Lindsay Stainton, Turner's Venice, 1985; Andrew Wilton, Turner in his Time, 1987; John Gage, J.M.W. Turner:A Wonderful Range of Mind’, 1987; Cecilia Powell, Turner in the South, 1987

Samuel Rogers (1763–1855) was a wealthy banker and connoisseur of art, as well as a poet. His long poem Italy was originally published in two parts: the first, anonymously, in 1822 and in several subsequent editions until 1825, the second in 1828. Neither was attended with any success and before the second part was issued Rogers decided to publish a new ‘edition de luxe’ at his own expense. In 1826 he invited Turner to design twenty-five vignette illustrations for the volume, hoping that the artist's fame would enhance the populartiy of his work. This edition appeared in 1830 and was lavishly illustrated; in addition to Turner's landscape subjects, the volume contained figure scenes by another popular artist, Thomas Stothard. The engravings after Turner were published separately from September 1829 onwards by Robert Jennings; those that appeared in the 1830 volume were by then in the fourth published state. The plates for Italy were sold in a portfolio, with prices ranging from £2. 12s. 6d. for proofs, imperial quarto, to £4. 4s. for India proofs before letters. The volume was published by Thomas Cadell and Edward Moxon and seems to have been issued in two editions, costing £1. 8s. and £3. 3s. The illustrated Italy was extremely successful, selling 6,800 copies by May 1832. Turner was to be paid the large sum of £50 for each drawing but as this fee threatened to impose too great a financial burden on the project, the watercolours were instead loaned by Turner at five guineas each and returned to him after the engraving was complete. As a result, all except one of his illustrations to Italy have survived in the Turner Bequest.

All the illustrations for Italy were engraved on steel. Nearly half the vignettes were executed by Edward Goodall (1795–1870); the other engravers were Robert Wallis (1794–1878), William R. Smith (active 1820s–1850s), Henry Le Keux (1787–1868), W. Cooke (1797–1865) and John Pye (1782–1874).

T04633 William Tell's Chapel engr. R. Wallis, pub.1829

Line-engraving, vignette, approx. 74 × 95 (2 15/16 × 3 3/4) on India paper laid on wove paper 445 × 305 (17 1/2 × 12); plate-mark 260 × 142 (10 1/4 × 5 9/16)
Engraved inscriptions: ‘Turner, R.A.’ below image b.l., ‘Wallis.’ below image b.r., ‘The Chapel of William Tell’ below image at centre; publisher's and printer's lines as on T04631
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.349, second published state

Published: p.8. Original watercolour: Tate Gallery, TB CCLXXX 155 (Wilton 1979, no.1153).

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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